Starting an online business in this economy is incredibly risky as many internet startups fail shortly after launching. Despite the odds, the advantages to starting an internet business, and therefore securing self employment and financial independence, are worth the incurred risk for many aspiring entrepreneurs. The key to success isn’t simple; it involves an incredible amount of hard work, creating an excellent team, developing a solid business plan, setting realistic goals, finding a business model that works, and utilizing the correct tools and startup resources to keep your entrepreneurial dream afloat. Thankfully, there are plenty of online startup resources that can help you take that courageous first step towards following your entrepreneurial dreams. Below you’ll find a review list of some of the top startup resources for helping you find partnerships, business opportunities, startup funding, business advice and other helpful information for starting your own online business.
LegalZoom – Officially creating your online business entity is the first and most important step of all. LegalZoom is an inexpensive, fast, and easy to use online legal document service that can help you file the appropriate paperwork to form your business entity (sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation, etc.) today. You’ll need to do a bit of homework before you decide which entity to create as each option offers specific tax, liability, and business advantages. Speaking with your local SBA office worker can be helpful for identifying which business entity is most appropriate for your needs.
oDesk – This and other freelance developer marketplace sites are a great online resource for discovering computer programmers, web developers, freelance writers, and web design workers. After registering, you’ll be able to post a project and receive competitive bids from many web development providers. You can then review the providers’ expertise, past work, and ratings from previous freelance projects they’ve worked on.
StartupNation – As an online resource and community hub, StartupNation was created by entrepreneurs for the purpose of helping other entrepreneurs. Seek advice, connect directly with those business people that have been there and done that, and get tips and tricks for weathering the economic trials of starting your own business. StartupNation provides recommendations to help you find other businesses, services and products to aid you on your journey.
Prosper – Designed as a microlending network, Prosper can help you get the seed funding you need to launch your own online business. Based on your Prosper rating, you can get up to a $25,000 business loan at a reasonable rate from lenders that believe in funding other people’s dreams. If raising funds from friends and family members isn’t a viable option, peer-to-peer lending may be the perfect solution to obtaining the money you need to start your own internet business.
The Funded – If you are actively seeking funding, TheFunded is a great resource to check out. This community of entrepreneurs and business owners come together to analyze, rate and review various funding sources. Doing your research on the various angel investment groups and venture capital firms will ensure that you’re well informed on which funding partners may be a good match for your company.
OnStartups – This site combines a blog, resources, books and more to help you find the services and advice that will make your business succeed. The OnStartup blog offers regularly updated content for a daily dose of business advice. The other sections of the site offers helpful tools and services that can set you on the path towards achieving your entrepreneurial goals.
Entrepreneur – An online magazine that’s filled with success stories, tips, and tools for starting your own business. Entrepreneur also offers great articles about current business trends, franchises for sale, and excellent community rescources.
Vator.tv – A place where entrepreneurs can pitch and promote their business ideas to other members and potential investors. Users can receive feedback about their business concept and search for people that can help them attain business goals.
Biznick – An online portal for finding others to help you grow your business. The Biznik community includes business mentors and leaders that can offer advice or simply share their business experiences with you. Collaboration tools, networking opportunities, tips, and advice are just a few of the perks the Biznick site offers.
PartnerUp – PartnerUp knows that it takes more than just an idea to build a business. Members use its tools to find other like minded individuals and businesses that they team up with for a given entrepreneurial venture. Whether you need tips for marketing to a local business, a listing of business opportunities or a public forum for discussing various issues, PartnerUp can help you get the answers you need.
Cofoundr – The Cofoundr network was launched to provide a private online meeting place for professionals involved in starting a business. Members use the site to connect with others and seek out advice from investors, advisors, designers, developers, and programmers to help them with their business.
Meetup – Sometimes all you need is a website to help you find real world networking opportunities. For local events intended for networking purposes, Meetup may be the perfect solution. You can easily join an existing local Meetup group to seek out other like minded individuals or create you own.
LinkedIn – A business related social network that’s great for making new connections with other entrepreneurs and potential investors. LinkedIn groups can be a very useful resource for meeting and interacting with other members as well as finding answers to common business issues. The LinkedIn jobs section can be particularly beneficial for seeking employment opportunities and posting jobs for your business.
SBA – Your local Small Business Administration office can be a very helpful resource for preparing to launch your business. They offer free business counseling, inexpensive entrepreneurship classes, and they can help you connect with other local entrepreneurs.If you liked this article, please take this time to share it with your Facebook friends using the Facebook button (see Facebook post button to the left) or retweet it using Twitter (see retweet button to the left). You may also want to follow us or subscribe to the site to stay up-to-date with this article. If you'd rather follow us from your Facebook account, join our Facebook fan page or subscribe to our NetworkedBlogs profile.
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